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what would a non profit business look like

I like to be my own boss but have a idea of what im doing like a mentor non-profit travel anthropology mentoring entrepreneurship

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Jared’s, Team Answer

I'm the Executive Director of, which is a nonprofit, so I think I can speak to this.

# What's different:
A nonprofit business operates almost exactly like a for-profit business in most ways. It still has to register to do business with the government. It still has to get revenue, pay workers, pay payroll taxes, and so on. In most ways, there's no difference. Where nonprofits and for profit companies start to differ is when it comes to things like who "owns" the company (for profits have owners, non-profits don't), taxes (nonprofits don't have to pay *some* forms of taxation), what kind of discounts they can get (nonprofits tend to get more discounts on things). The other major difference is that nonprofits *tend* to get most of their revenue through donations, which means that instead of selling products, you are asking for grants, donations, or gifts for the organization. We call that "fundraising" or sometimes "development", and any medium-to-large nonprofit is going to have some kind of dedicated fundraiser (including the executive director which is what CEOs are often-but-not-always called at nonprofits).

# Being your own boss:
As for being your own boss, I can tell you from first-hand experience that being your own boss comes with both great rewards and also great responsibility. It can be a very high stress role. But it can also be freeing. For me personally, having a leadership role has been hugely rewarding, but I should also acknowledge that even if you're your own boss, there's always someone you "report" to in a way. I report to the board of directors. If you're the sole owner of a business, you are beholden to your customers. And so on.

Congratulations to you on an excellent question, and I hope this is a helpful answer!

Source: I've started the nonprofit that runs the site you're on right now

Jared, Team recommends the following next steps:

Find 3 nonprofits with offices in your community and email their contact address to ask them if you can volunteer for an afternoon
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Terence’s Answer

The good news is that non-profits are almost ALWAYS looking for help and are generally open to discussions, so you could approach some local ones to learn more.

Additionally there are professional networks you can leverage. Linkedin has an active "group" community where you can ask any question you like. In fact, they have a specific site for non-profits that might be a great starting point.

As you get into discussions with the non-profit community, build that network and pick their brains. Professional networks are invaluable thoughout your career, so keep that in mind. As you build your career and potentially start your own non-profit, you'll be on the other side of the coin and will be the one asking for help. Again, your network and reputation will be invaluable here.
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Simeon’s Answer

There are any number of forms a non-profit can take. Realistically, as long as you have a clear vision and there are volunteers and donors willing to support your cause, you can do almost anything in non-profit. Just make sure that you shape your non-profit in such a way that it is built more to meet the needs of those you're serving rather than because you like the idea of what you're doing. Some of the most helpful things in serving people are the least intuitive, so be sure to spend time listening to them before you go off too quickly in any one direction.
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Linda’s Answer

As Simeon said, non-profits form in many ways. You can probably explore some in your area. Food banks, Habitat for Humanity Restores, and Salvation Army stores are non-profits, as well as social services for immigrants, the disabled, and groups like the Shriners. Further, many are in constant need of volunteers so you could become one to learn more and add relevant experience to your resume.

Linda recommends the following next steps:

Look around your area for non-profits
Visit some and interview staff